Who Sephany, Z'ki, Kassala
What Sephany visits Igen to meet Jizunoth. Apologies are issued and misunderstandings are cleared up.
When Autumn - Day 13 of Month 9 of Turn 2714
Where Lake Shore, Igen Weyr


Igen Weyr - Lake Shore

It is sometimes hard to tell where the bowl ends and the lake shore begins. Fine grains of gold, tan and orange hued sand layer much as the bowl walls in the distance beyond. The sand only gives way to thin patches of grass where the tall fence of the feeding grounds intersects the lake to the south and the smooth curve of the bowl wall rises on the opposite shore. At that intersection one can make out a small building and colorful fabrics where the Weyr's residents go to relax. The shallow lake waters shimmer invitingly, day and night, lapping at the fine grain sands. Engineered pipes are hidden beneath the bowl landscape and feed the lake as well as the grasses of the feeding grounds to keep the water levels from dropping past a certain point which is marked by a waist high obelisk.

Late afternoon sees the end of a weyrling lesson and the midst of dragon bathing time at Igen Weyr. There's more than a few weyrfolk out to watch — the dragons are utterly adorable at this age, awkward and still learning their way around. Most of the weyrlings are standing in the shallows of the water, though a handful are at the oiling stage. Z'ki, for his part, either started early, got some help, or completely skipped the bathing part. Jizunoth is settled on the sand, eyes whirling slowly, Z'ki half leaning into the bronze's side. He's got a pot of oil held loosely in one hand, the other propping up his chin, elbow resting on the curve of his bronze's hide. He's kind of still, almost certainly asleep on the job.

It has been a long time since Sephany was in Igen. But inevitably, the Fortian weaver makes her way to the desert once again. And this time, she does not need much of a guide to find the once-guard, now Weyrling. It is clear enough where they are to be found, and the green that has transported actually deigns to carry her to the shore of the lake before letting her go; far enough not to greatly disturb those already present. It takes a bit of work before grey eyes find the napping Z'ki, and a long moment is spared to appraise the already-massive bronze he is leaning up against. There is hesitation in her steps, a quick bite to her lower lip, and then a stubborn set to her jaw as she charges forward into dangerous 'personal space' territory. But her manners halt her before she is within touching distance of either dragon or weyrling. "Um…" because now she can clearly see he is asleep, which raises creates all manner of challenges. Wake him? Don't wake? Can she even wake him, if she tries? A furtive glance is spared for the crowd, and she offers a bit of a louder, hissing "Psst," toward the human-half in hopes of waking him, while a polite, "Hello, Jizunoth," is her greeting for the young dragon.

The Fortian weaver definitely gets a look as she approaches. Dragon faces are difficult to read, not being that expressive, though eye-shadings might give a hint, Jizunoth's barely change at her approach. He doesn't seem welcoming, but neither threatening either, just staring at her. Maybe he nudges his rider awake — who knows — since Z'ki's head is suddenly snapping upright, blinking blearily at his bronze for a moment, before glancing towards Sephany, brow furrowed with momentary confusion. "Uh. Sephany?" he runs a hand over his eyes, yawning.

Sephany has grown up around dragons; at least she has grown up around dragonriders and has had a fair amount of time interacting with the beasts to have developed a comfort level indicative of the weyrbred. She is not afraid of Jizunoth or his stare, though she is respectful of his personal space and all too aware of his age; the unpredictability of young dragons ingrained from an early age. She does not know him yet, even if she knows his weyrling. "Yes," she confirms her identity, a small smile playing around the edges of her mouth for the yawning confusion. "If I had thought it through, I would have brought you something to eat. Or at least to drink," she says apologetically.

Kass is one of those that are just finishing up in the shallows, the gold dunking her head into the water to rinse the suds from her head, thrilling softly in a certain glee at being clean again. Nose to future-rider's side, and no doubt, there's a mental comment about oiling there that has Kass heading for the beach where oil buckets and cloths are waiting. "I'll see what I can do.. perhaps some essence oils would help make it smell better?" The comment is said as the pair walk to find a place large enough to work, the red head's gaze turned outwards, and it's then she spies Sephany, "Hey!"

"I wish," is Z'ki's wry, fervent response to the suggestion of something to drink, chuckling briefly a moment later as he straightens. Another yawn escapes him, inadvertently, before her presence seems to fully register. "Sephany… hey." There might be a bit of awkwardness to the words now, though he covers it up swiftly enough. "Uh, so this is Jizunoth. Ji… this is Sephany." The bronze dragon's head shifts slightly, the speed of his whirling eyes increasing by measures as he regards her.

The general hustle and bustle that is weyrlings bathing means that those wandering in and out of the waves give Sephany little pause; though the approach of the young Queen certainly garners some attention. Grey eyes glance away from bronze, settling on young Xerosaeth and Kassala as they approach. "Hey, Kass… Congratulations, again…," maybe? Because she's not sure if she said that before; the Hatching feast a distant memory shrouded in haze for a number of reasons. Greetings aside, her attention is focused clearly on Z'ki and Jizunoth once more. There is a soft sort of smile for the bronze, which falters slightly at Z'ki's momentary awkwardness. Yeah. She caught that. "Pleasure to meet you, Jizunoth," for the bronze, a dip of her head offered in a more formal type of greeting as she is regarded by quickly whirling eyes. A twisting of her hands is the only indication that there may be apprehension in what she says next. "I don't know what to say," she says honestly. "I feel as though I owe you an apology. For… well. I behaved…" a breath exhaled, a roll of grey eyes toward the sky in an uncharacteristic show of frustration for her lack of articulation. "There is no excuse. I am sorry if I was inappropriate when last we spoke." Referring, of course, to her inebriated state during the Hatching Feast.

Kassala smiles to both, and while she as Xerosaeth will settle nearby, they won't be so close that the conversation between Z'ki and Sephany won't remain somewhat private if voices are lowered. With the words offered, she does smile, "Thank you again." Easily does she speak, not seeming bothered by the weaver's lack of rememberance or not. Something said draws her to the gold, and she half-hides a smile as she calls out to her fellow weyrling, "Might wanna check under his left wing, right along the third spar joint. A spot that's bothering him, Xerosaeth insists." It's all the gold's fault, yep.

There's a tired, if sympathetic smile from Z'ki for Kassala's approach, gaze flickering to her queen — she's got way more work ahead of her than he does with Jizunoth. Tension visible in the bronze weyrling's posture for a moment as Sephany speaks, his expression aims for neutral and mostly succeeds, though there's a hint of a grimace there. "You were fine," he finally says in a quiet voice. "Apparently I've been stringing you along, though, so…" he glances at his dragon, then back, straightening. "I thought we were friends." He uncaps the lid of the pot he's still holding, reaching for one of the paddles as Kassala calls out. "Sorry," he says, reflexively — the dragons apt to share everything at the moment. It's a welcome distraction, however, as he gestures towards the bronze, "Ji, can you..?" the bronze spreads his wings, and Z'ki distracts himself with attending to the dragon's itch for a moment.

It is certainly not a conversation that Sephany minds Kassala hearing; even if it is somewhat embarrassing for the weaver. There is even a turn of her head and a quick, "I should apologize to you, as well. I did not get a chance to thank you for… well…" making sure she didn't collapse on the dance floor. Seeing her safely to a table and chair before everything went south. That is what she is thanking Kassala for. But there is only so much discomfort she can take, and eventually it just all spills over into general irritation and then… neutrality. She'll just own it. But Z'ki's comment has her terribly confused, expression clear across her face in the furrow of pale eyebrows and the downward slant of her mouth. "We are…" she insists. "Who said… Did i say that?" she briefly can't recall, though she clearly seems disinclined to believe it. "Or did…" and maybe it's coming back because… yup. There it is. "Damnit," hissed low, scowl for the ground as flashing grey eyes glare at innocent grains of sand. "Tanit."

Kass grins a little as Z'ki gets out the oil and paddle, shifting to the side to begin her work on her own lifemate. With apologies offered in her direction, the red head turns, shaking her head, "We've all been there at some point or another. All is well, as long as you were okay, Seph." She means that. Humming to herself, she doesn't pay much attention to the conversation of theirs, though silent questions from Xero has her brows furrowing a little, a subtle glance of green eyes given aside before she asks aloud, "Has Jizunoth tried catching the fish yet?" Another subject, something easy to talk about.

Z'ki is wholly consumed by his attention to the unrelenting itch of his dragon. Nevermind it's been soothed — it's a good excuse to keep his expression obscured as Sephany continues, his back a line of visible tension as she reaches her own conclusion. He cuts a quick look at the Fortian as Jizunoth refolds his wings, but it doesn't linger overly long, clearly not inclined to linger on the topic. "Fish?" he echoes Kassala after a moment, glancing at Jizunoth quizzically. "I don't think so."

Well. Cue resounding awkwardness on the part of the weaver, which quickly morphs into an irritation of epic proportions. Sephany sits herself down as gracefully as possible, the thin material of her dress protecting her enough from the heat of the sand that she does not immediately get up again. Knees are drawn in, chin rested upon them, as she curls her arms around her legs and glares daggers toward the horizon. She is lost to her own thoughts while apologies are accepted and dragons are tended. It means that she does not perceive the span of time that is taken to fix a small itch, nor does she discern the tension in Z'ki, mirrored as it is across her own shoulders. The mention of fish earns a glance at last, briefly confused until she ascertains that it is a question posed from dragon to dragon… via weyrlings, but she offers no comments of her own.

Kass begins to answer Z'ki, but she's suddenly left there, standing, with dripping oil paddle in hand as Xerosaeth moves towards Jizunoth, her muzzle nudging him to spread his wing again. Something has caught the young gold's attention, eyes whirling faster and faster. At tleast she doesn't go bouncing around like some of their clutchsibs! "Xero.. what are you doing? I thought you wanted to be oiled??" The question begs to be asked of her lifemate by the red head, confusion worn plainly on her face. Dropping the paddle back in the bucket, she approaches when urged to do so, to crouch just so, and peer at the sun as it soaks through the wingsail of the bronze. "I see… " And then she does, and she ohs softly.

Discussion of the dragons is welcome distraction for Z'ki, though he's wholly unprepared — to judge by startled surprise — for Jizunoth to take a step forward and suddenly flare his wings again, the bronze's head turning towards his clutchmate. "Ji, what…?" the weyrling steps back out of the flare of wind-and-sand, with a bemused shake of head. Still, it earns a smile that lingers when he glances towards Sephany, though it fades moments later as he takes in her demeanor. He takes a step in her direction, shifting his weight a moment as if debating, though he doesn't say anything. Kassala's approach to his bronze is unremarked upon, though he does watch with visible curiosity.

The movement of the young queen gets her attention, but it is the sudden flare of bronze wings that has Sephany back in the present moment with startling swiftness. She ducks her head against the modest spray of sand kicked up by the action, but there's no animosity toward the young dragon, just curiosity for the sudden change. But dragons are dragons, and Sephany has learned that they are unique and unpredictable creatures with their own reasons for things. While Xerosaeth poking at Jizunoth's wing is curious, she is excluded from the reasons why and, therefore, has only a passing curiosity. Instead, her gaze finds Z'ki with an expression that is somewhat guarded, but mostly neutral. There's no hostility towards him, at least. "I'm not going to bite," she offers. "I'm just… frustrated."

Kassala nods once more to Xerosaeth, then offers a smile to the young bronze, "Thank you for letting me look with Xerosaeth." Not that she had much of a say against being almost drug there to his side by the young gold. Stepping back, leaving the two dragons to talk, she turns back towards Z'ki and Sephany, soon to share with the weaver, "She caught a glimpse of his wingsails with the sun behind them, shining through. Said it looks like stars or roads.. or stars over roads.." Hearing the last bit, she finally does wonder, "Frustrated?" Hey, she doesn't have a dragon to distract her at the moment, sorry!

Jizunoth is still while he's being inspected by his clutchmate and her rider, though there's a little shift of his weight and his head, abruptly, after he tries and fails to twist his head to see what they're looking at, too. Z'ki's grimacing, briefly, eyes going briefly unfocused. "Ji-" he says, abruptly, and exhales, arms folding across his chest. His gaze settles again on Sephany, with a brief, fleeting smile that feels more 'Zevaki' than Z'ki. "I… get it," he says, carefully, despite her assurances. "I'm not sure what you were telling your friends, but," his lips twist, slightly, "Apparently they—" but he doesn't continue at Kassala's inquiry, instead glancing between the pair.

A soft 'Oh', from Sephany for the explanation that comes from Kassala. There's a little ducking of her head, but she's far too distant and not at all fast enough to catch a look of light through his sails and see whatever it is they are seeing. "I will take your word for it," she declares, some amusement in her tone and expression. She exhales audibly at his approach, lingering tension fading away at the brief, familiar expression. "I didn't tell them anything I haven't told you," she says clearly. "I'm not sure what she… Tanit made up her own mind…" a shake of her head. "And I'm not even sure what she thought she was accomplishing. I didn't ask her to do anything of the sort… She has a weird way of reacting," and there's a mirthful look and a roll of her eyes for some undisclosed memory. "I am sorry if she upset you. You are my friend. I don't want that to change."

"I didn't see it," Z'ki confesses, "But Jizunoth seems pleased, so…" that's all that seems to matter as far as the former guard is concerned. He's silent — stony faced, even, but that's his default expression, really — while Sephany talks. He doesn't interrupt, waiting until she's finished before he finally says, simply, "We're friends." Jizunoth's wings refold and he settles down, the speed of his eyes whirling faster, Z'ki glancing towards the bronze for a moment. After a twitch of lips, Z'ki shares, "I think he's decided he wants me to be a Weyrlingmaster, now."

That settled, there is a bit more of a smile for Z'ki, a return to equilibrium and easy comradery as Sephany pushes the whole unfortunate incident to the wayside. She watches the young bronze idly, offering a quick, amused laugh for the share of information. "Does he?" she wonders, grin growing as she looks between dragon and weyrling. "That would be… well. You may have some time left before that knot can go on your shoulder. Any particular reason?" she asks, curiosity following her gaze as she glances back at the young bronze.

Jizunoth turns his attention from his clutchmate to his rider and the Fortian, albeit briefly. "He… just… he's sure I can do it, that's all. Nevermind whether I want to or not," Z'ki says, with a sudden twitch of lips. "He's very strong-minded. It's been an… adjustment," he adds, briefly, gaze on the bronze.

"Hmm. Ambitious sort?" wonders Sephany of the bronze. "Or just wanting to push you?" It's not really meant to be answered, more musing aloud as she looks between weyrling and dragon. "I can't imagine what you are going through," she admits. "Adjusting to an entirely new presence in your mind…" An unreadable expression crosses her face, a hint of longing as she lingers on the dragon-half for a second longer. And then it is past, and she is smiling once again as she reminds him, "You did promise you would tell me what it was like; now that you have your answer. I feel at a disadvantage here. You've got all the answers and I have none of them."

"I'm sure exactly sure yet," Z'ki admits, slowly. "We're still…" he trails off, after another look at the bronze, who is now flexing his wings. Glancing back to Sephany, he continues, "…finding ourselves." It's clear the observant former guard catches that fleeting expression, though he's polite enough not to draw attention. "It's been… difficult," he admits, with a hesitancy that has more to do with his taciturn nature than anything else. His hands clasp behind his back, a comfortable, familiar stance for him, at least, as he grows quiet, thinking. "He's not at all what I expected. Not even close to what I expected. He's so… vibrant, and alive, and present. Sometimes… it's difficult to tell whether I'm having a thought or he's having it… he's hungry or I am. They say it gets easier, but… right now," he exhales. "It's exhausting, and confusing, and amazing, and terrifying, all at once."

"It is that," Z'ki confirms, with a laugh. Jizunoth makes a noise as he shifts his weight and settles again on the sands, as the bronze weyrling immediately steps over, reaching up to run thumb along the bronze's eyeridges, to the apparent delight of the dragon, a faint thrum audible. When done, Z'ki turns back — there's something different in his expression, something softer and more at ease than is usual for him. "I guess," he says, after a pause, smiling, "I'll be able to take you north to visit other weyrs for ice staking come winter, after all."

A deep breath is taken, something meant to steady and settle, to reorient thoughts that have tumbled into unwelcome territory. The exchange between weyrling and bronze is noted, watched, expression curious but guarded before she's matching that smile with a hesitant one of her own. "So soon? And would he mind?" because perhaps Jizunoth should be consulted, now that his presence is an actual reality and not a hypothetical. "It is already beginning to chill in Fort. A few months, and we will have snow, and ice again." With careful movements, she climbs to her feet, dusting sand from her hands once she's upright. "Would he let me touch him?" she wonders, a sort of child-like hesitancy in the voicing of the question, grey eyes quickly flickering between the pair.

"He's curious about other places," Z'ki says. "He'd be more than willing to go look." Sephany's reminder that it's already cooling down in Fort has his eyes widening. "I… already?" he shakes his head. "Time's kind of… turned into a bit of a blur," he confesses, glancing again at Jizunoth. He's silent for a moment, before he reports, "He doesn't mind, though he seems curious as to why." The bronze has stilled now, and is watching Sephany again, brilliant eyes whirling.

This is clearly new territory; the workings of a dragon's mind. And Sephany is briefly left not knowing how to answer or respond, settling instead for a little nod of her head in acknowledgement and then quickly seizing on a topic she is much more versed in: Fort's weather. "It is," she confirms. "Leaves have turned and are starting to drop. There's enough chill in the air I have to wear a cloak when I go outside, though I am trying to acclimate so that I do not have to wear ten layers of fabric this winter," she adds, attempting humor. "I think you have a pretty good excuse for that," she teases of time being a blur. When permission is granted, she steps forward towards Jizunoth, heading for his side rather than his head. A gentle touch of her palm, not hesitant but still careful, to the side of neck. "Because I have not had a chance to touch a young dragon; and my only contact with grown ones is when I am hitching a ride. I don't have any close friends who are dragonriders, so I have no opportunity to be up close… in a casual manner," she explains.

"I suppose it will be cooling here soon, but winter comes late, when it comes," Z'ki says, grateful. The idea of a winter of Fort's variety has him grimacing, briefly. The gentle touch from Sephany has the bronze's head turning — it's so light the dragon seems not to feel it — his skin warm and smelling distinctly of dragon-and-oil. "You do, now," Z'ki corrects, with a smile, as he watches.

"Cooler," agrees Sephany with a grin, "But you cannot call Igen 'cold'. Not compared to Fort. Certainly not compared to High Reaches." There is a certain delight to be found in her expression and voice; clearly she is looking forward to the coming snow with unnatural glee. At the turn of his head, Sephany offers Jizunoth a firmer touch, an actual stroke of fingers against the bronze as she examines the details of his hide up close, tracing the intricate details with fascination. A small laugh as she acknowledges, "so I do!" But beneath the joy is a subtle sadness, a longing that plays out in the attention she bestows upon the young dragon. "I've always wanted to be Searched," she admits at last. "It's not something I've said aloud before…" a shake of her head as she lets the words fade off, her next breath a bit unsteady. A final caress and she removes her hand from the dragon, stepping back to put polite distance between them. "He's beautiful," she says much more confidently, repeating the sentiment directly to him as she tells Jizunoth, "You're a beautiful dragon. Or should I say handsome, instead?"

Z'ki is mostly silent, watching avidly as his dragon and his friend interact, something softer in his expression than normal. It lingers when she admits her wish to be searched. "Maybe you should ask to stand at Fort," he says, slowly. "I thought I heard some riders at lunch say that a gold there just rose?" When she steps back, Jizunoth stretches again, another inscrutable look given the weaver along with the whirling of eyes. "He likes handsome," the Igenite reports, "Also badass," with a grimace, "I think that's Leirith's fault, though."

"No," decides Sephany with a firm, resigned tone of voice. "I am not going to be like my sisters. If I am meant to Stand, then I will let a dragon Search me. Otherwise… it wouldn't do anything good for me." As for a gold having risen? There is a brief flush of her cheeks when she agrees, "Yes. Inri's Kouzevelth," she notes factually. "This is her second time in less than two turns. She had a nice clutch, so there is a lot of speculation about this next one, with high hopes that it will be healthy. She has had… difficulties in the past." To explain the speculation. "Handsome it is, then," she says firmly, fixing him with a bright grin. "And badass. I think it fits. You will be a devil in the sky, I'm certain," she decides. But despite cheerful words, there is still a heaviness pervading, and she steps back further with a glance toward the waiting green. "I think I should go. I've taken enough of your freetime, and you have precious little of it. But it was nice to see you again, Z'ki," she says, still hesitating over a name that is not quite familiar to her. "And I wanted to meet you," to Jizunoth, "And I am very glad to have been able to do so."

"I didn't know that," Z'ki admits, about Fortian's junior. "I'm hoping we'll be able to visit by the time it hatches, even if," with a rueful smile, "It's going to be winter there." Z'ki hesitates, too, if perhaps for different reasons. "It was nice to see you, too," he says. "And… you can call me Zev still, if you like. It's strange hearing you call me that. I'm still not used to it," he admits, as much as he's used to anything that's happened since he impressed. Jizunoth's eyes spin faster, but otherwise there's no acknowledgement that he heard her words, at least until the former guard adds, "He's pleased to meet you too, even if you are… as he says… small," with a low laugh. "I'm glad you came by, Seph," he adds. "I… take care."

"Zev, then," agrees Sephany, smiling a bit easier. "You'll get used to it, soon enough," for his new name. "And I think everyone is small, to him!" she laughs, not at all offended by the comment. A moment's hesitation, a pause and a final, "You, too…" before she turns and makes for the waiting green dragon, quick and surefooted over the sandy beach.

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